Lord Ganesha, also known as Vinayaga or Pillayar among many names, is regarded as the divine start of new phases and the demolition of hindrances. Why is he the first deity invoked in prayers when there are other gods?
Lord Ganesha is recognized for his elephant head, which is a familiar image for many. The path taken by an elephant is typically unquestioned and uninterrupted. If any obstruction is encountered, it's common knowledge that the elephant shatters it, clearing its way. This characteristic of overpowering hurdles is one of the many reasons Lord Ganesha is called upon first in religious ceremonies, ensuring a smooth operation without any impediments.
Now let us understand the rationale behind the immersion of the clay idols of Ganesha
Our forefathers were remarkably insightful.
In the Tamil month Aadi (mid-July to mid-August), the water level in the river rises, washing away shore sands. This circumstance causes the river to reach the ocean without first settling on the ground, resulting in a lack of fertility and dryness in the land.
In light of this, our ancestors developed an effective strategy. They utilized clay due to its water-absorbing properties, enabling it to immerse into the ground. This strategic practice enabled as much river water as possible to settle before reaching the sea.
Furthermore, they recognized the need to immerse the clay idol only after two to three days. This is because the clay, if wet, would simply wash away. Therefore, it required a certain period of drying. Once sufficiently dry, the clay could settle at the river bed and absorb a significant quantity of river water, thereby enhancing the fertility of the land.
A look back into the Modak served as offering
Modak is a beloved treat, and it's deeply interwoven with the persona of Ganesha. But what is the genesis of the modak, and where does it originate?
Modak has a long history that connects strongly with the agricultural landscape, especially the Maratha region's crop. The preparation of the steamed modak uses rice flour, specifically an accessible local rice variant called the ambemohur. The filling comprises common ingredients like jaggery and coconut, emphasizing a utilization principle where whatever is readily available is used.
Additionally, modak offers nutritional benefits and is seen as a food apt for monsoon.
The Marathi adaptations of the sweet dumpling, also known as modak, significantly influenced the variants in southern India. Particularly, the Thanjavur Marathas, an offshoot of the Bhonsle dynasty, had a profound impact not only in the political sphere but also in the culinary realm. Over time, they fine-tuned Marathi cuisine according to Tamil food culture preferences.
The significance and preparation of modak extend across regional differences, showcasing the interactive aspects of faith and food that is characteristic of Indian culture.
As you read this blog, enjoy the jaggery-filled Coconut Burfi, a divine offering curated specifically for this festival by our Ganesh Chaturthi Spl Delights
Ganapati Bappa Morya!